More projects than resources? Conflicting priorities from multiple initiatives? Poor visibility and no decision support? Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is becoming an accepted solution to these problems.
A sophisticated PMO will have established PPM processes and ideally technology to automate and support this.
A centralised approach provides a single reference point for project portfolio information and offers the essential transparency needed by senior management to monitor alignment and performance against the strategic plan.
PPM embraces the business objectives to align and prioritise projects from the top down. Applicable to every type and size of company, PPM is no longer a leading edge practice but rather a competitive necessity providing new levels of visibility for executive decision support.
Challenges to effective PPM
Benefits realisation, as well as supply and demand planning, are predicted to be the most challenging aspects of the PMO practice in coming years.
In fact, the 2012/13 Project Management Office (PMO) Survey conducted by PM-Partners group reveals that only 47% of PMOs have a defined methodology for PPM.
Also surprising is the fact that more than 72% of organisations admit to not tracking benefits past project completion, something that can add credibility to the PMO and aid future practices.
This indicates that one of the largest challenges for the average PMO starts with the integration of complex ongoing management of PPM practices.
“One of the key objectives of a PMO should be to assist their executives in clarifying strategic goals that can be aligned with initiatives through PPM practices, this is something that that most PMOs need help achieving,” says Pete Swan, Director of PM-Partners group.
It’s no longer enough for a PMO to just implement past portfolio management practices and tools in each project. Each requires careful individual tailoring to remain effective and worthwhile.
The good news is that PPM has seen a big increase over the past year, with 55% of surveyed organisations saying that they are using it frequently.
Success of PPM integration relies heavily on key stakeholders (executives and managers) adopting a holistic, organisation-wide perspective in which projects are assessed on the actual value they provide to the business individually.
The use of expert support is an increasingly popular solution for a PMO when it is implementing the right PPM practices for its business or industry. This approach can be very effective, as external experts have the broad experience across many PMOs, as well as the background to operate at the appropriate level. This can prove vital regarding reinvigoration of a PMO or marketing a PMOs success.
The PM-Partners group is Australia’s most highly accredited project and PMO partner. We are the trusted service provider to Australia’s leading and emerging PMOs. Call us on 1300 70 13 14 for further information.